Bloody Mary’s Sexy Younger Sister

Caesar at Julio's Bario in EdmontonWhen people hear Caesar, what comes to mind varies.  Some think of the salad, the Roman Emperor, or even the instigating primate from Planet of the Apes.  Somehow, unless you’re in Canada, very near the border, or in a heavily expat community, no one thinks of the cocktail.

Invented in 1969 by Calgary restaurant manager Walter Chell, the Bloody Caesar is a Canadian classic.  Inspired by the Venetian dish, Spaghetti alle vongole, Chell reasoned that the mixture of clams and tomato sauce would make a good drink.  He mashed a “necatar” of the two and mixed it with vodka and spices to achieve a unique, spicy flavour.

The drink was an instant hit in Calgary, and its popularity quickly spread throughout Canada.  It also made Mott’s previously suffering Clamato juice a huge success.  Today Caesars are estimated to be the most popular mixed drink in Canada, with over 350 million consumed each year.

Some people think that the Caesare is a ripoff of the American Bloody Mary.  Those people couldn’t be more wrong.  Although they bear a striking resemblance, Caesars are so much better.  Caesars are less thick, more salty and way more refreshing.  Caesars can cure hangovers, compliment brunches or, with enough garnish, replace them completely.  Plus, they taste fantastic with or without alcohol.

So, if they’re so great, why can’t I find them outside of Canada?  I suspect most people are turned off by the idea of drinking clams.  The thing is, Caesars aren’t fishy; they just have an extra kick.  Plus, clams have chemical compounds that serve as aphrodisiacs.

So, to recap: Caesars are sexy, healthy, and boozy!  Now if only I could get one abroad.  I guess I’ll just have to mix my own for now.  If you want to join me, try one of these awesome recipes.

Classic Caesar

  1. Rim a tall glass with celery salt and fill with ice
  2. Add several shakes Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco into glass
  3. Add 1-2 ounces of vodka
  4. Fill with Clamato juice
  5. Garnish with a celery stalk and lime wedge

Hot & Heavy Caesar

  1. Rim a tall glass with steak spice and cayenne pepper and fill with ice
  2. Add several shakes Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco into glass
  3. Add 1-2 ounces of vodka
  4. Fill with Clamato juice, a dash of salt and steak spice
  5. Garnish with a pickled bean and a skewer of flank steak and prawn

Classy Motherfucker Caesar

  1. Rim a tall glass with freshly cracked salt and pepper and fill with ice
  2. Add 3 shakes Worcesterchire sauce and 2 shakes Siracha hot sauce
  3. Add 2 oz Tanqueray gin and 1 tsp of freshly ground horseradish
  4. Fill glass with Mott’s Clamato and top with freshly cracked pepper
  5. Garnish with 3 pickled asparagus and a skewer of stuffed olives

How do you feel about Caesars?  Are you one of those blasphemous Bloody Mary lovers?  Do you have a better recipe?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

An itinerant entrepreneur, Nadia travels slow and low in search of clean eats, dirty Jeeps, and good vibes. Meanwhile, she works with entrepreneurs and organizations to create memorable and successful brands.


  1. Coming from Asia I also prefer the Caesar in Canada to the Bloody Mary in US – so thick

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